Leipzig down Hertha to knock Bay­ern from top

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LEIPZIG: RB Leipzig knocked Bay­ern Mu­nich, who they meet in five days’ time, off the top of the Bun­desliga yes­ter­day with a 2-0 win at home to Hertha Ber­lin.

With Bay­ern at bot­tom side Darm­stadt to­day, Leipzig took their chance to re­claim top spot with a con­vinc­ing win at their sold-out Red Bull Arena. Leipzig, who had led for three weeks be­fore last Satur­day, are now three points clear.

How­ever, Carlo Ancelotti’s Mu­nich can re­gain top spot due to their su­pe­rior goal dif­fer­ence by beat­ing Darm­stadt, ahead of Wed­nes­day’s mouth-wa­ter­ing clash against Leipzig at the Al­lianz Arena.

Goals ei­ther side of the break by striker Timo Werner and burly cen­tre-back and cap­tain Willi Or­ban sealed Leipzig’s win.

It put RB back on track af­ter last Satur­day’s shock 1-0 de­feat at In­gol­stadt which ended their 13-match un­beaten run-a record for a team at the start of their first Bun­desliga sea­son.

“I said af­ter the (In­gol­stadt) de­feat that I wanted to see a re­ac­tion and my team didn’t dis­ap­point. We showed what we wanted from the first sec­ond,” said Leipzig coach Ralph Hasen­huettl.

Leipzig used their 64 per­cent pos­ses­sion to cre­ate 16 shots to Hertha’s three and made nearly twice as many passes.

Pal Dar­dai’s Ber­lin drop to fourth af­ter the de­feat. “Leipzig were a bit too quick for us,” ad­mit­ted the Ber­lin coach. RB went ahead when Guinea mid­fielder Naby Keita, who later went off with a leg in­jury and is set to miss the Bay­ern game, played Werner into the box to dart be­tween two de­fend­ers and slot home on 41 min­utes. It was the ninth goal in 15 games for RB’s top scorer. Werner has been work­ing with the club’s psy­chol­o­gist hav­ing been booed by In­gol­stadt fans ev­ery time he got the ball. That had been the 20-yearold’s first ap­pear­ance since win­ning a penalty in the 2-1 win over Schalke a fort­night ago with what the club later ad­mit­ted was a dive. Werner was shown a yel­low against Hertha for play-act­ing when he went to the turf af­ter be­ing blocked by Ber­lin’s cen­tre-back Jens Hegeler on 59 min­utes. Leipzig sealed the win on 62 min­utes when Or­ban got on the end of Emil Forsberg’s cor­ner kick and pow­ered his header home, giv­ing Hertha goal­keeper Rune Jarstein lit­tle chance.

Or­ban looked to have claimed his sec­ond on 78 min­utes, but the lines­man flagged with three Leipzig play­ers off­side.

Else­where, Mainz mid­fielder Danny Latza hit a hat-trick in his team’s 3-1 home win over strug­glers Ham­burg. Augs­burg’s care­taker-coach Manuel Baum got off to win­ning start as Martin Hin­tereg­ger scored from a cor­ner in their 1-0 home home over Borus­sia Moenchenglad­bach.

Ex-Arse­nal winger Serge Gnabry res­cued a point for Werder Bre­men with his sixth league goal this sea­son in their 1-1 draw with Cologne to can­cel out Artjoms Rud­nevs’ goal.

Ukrainian winger Yevhen Kono­plyanka net­ted for Schalke in their 1-1 draw with Freiburg. On Fri­day, 10-man Borus­sia Dort­mund earned a 2-2 draw at Hof­fen­heim as the league’s top scorer, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, net­ted their sec­ond-half equaliser for his 16th goal of the sea­son.

Hof­fen­heim re­main the only un­beaten team in Ger­many’s top flight this sea­son while Dort­mund had Ger­many winger Marco Reus sent off for a sec­ond book­ing in the first half.

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